Bulls

Patrick Williams’ full potential on display in pickup footage

Bulls

Standing 6-foot-8 with a chiseled, 225-pound frame, Patrick Williams appears on the surface to be the picture of a modern, 3-and-D combo forward. In his lone season at Florida State, his defensive role centered on switching everything and hunting passing lanes and help-side shot-blocking opportunities. On offense, he served primarily as a ball-mover off the catch (or after one-to-two dribbles), spot-up shooter and timely cutter.

But the Bulls’ recent draftee has point guard pedigree. Before a growth spurt shot him up to his current height, Williams spent the bulk of his high school career as a point guard. And in fact, in 26 possessions as a pick-and-roll ball-handler (just 8.8 percent of his offensive possessions) at FSU, he produced 0.962 points per possession, a 90th percentile rate, per Synergy. 

Though he only showcased it in flashes, Williams is fluid handling the rock, an adept passer and has an effective pull-up mid-range game in his bag -- all of which, along with his explosive athleticism and physical tools, are foundational to the upside that prompted the Bulls to select him fourth overall.

With the obvious disclaimer that offseason highlight reels don’t equate to live game action: His talent as a ball-handler and shot-maker have been prominently on display in a recent swath of videos trickling into the social media ether.

 

Here’s Williams, getting to his spots, catapulting to the rim and splashing jump shots in runs that include Spencer Dinwiddie, Trae Young and other NBA names.

Dinwiddie, when asked by a fan on Twitter his thoughts on Williams' game, had this to say:

Again: No, we shouldn’t take too much away from selectively-spliced clips pulled from half-speed pickup action. But it’s a reminder of what the Bulls saw in Williams, and what he should be empowered to do at the next level to foster the fullest development of his game.

With a player development-focused head coach in Billy Donovan at the helm, and a self-professed player-first front office in place, there’s reason for optimism he will be. And with training camps set to open Dec. 1, his rookie season is right around the corner.

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